The Nikiski High School hockey team made it two in a row Friday, defeating the Kenny Lake Hawks for the second time in as many nights in a Greatland Conference game at Jason Peterson Memorial Rink in Nikiski.
While both games featured 13 goals, Friday's turned out to be a little closer -- after winning 11-2 Thursday, the Bulldogs skated to an 8-5 win Friday.
The Bulldogs started strong, outshooting Kenny Lake 17-3 in the opening period. Nikiski led 4-1 at the first intermission and 5-2 at the second intermission, but the Hawks rallied for two quick goals to start the third period, pulling to within a goal in a game that had turned rough and tumble.
Indeed, what had been a quick-moving game through the first period bogged down in the second as the two teams combined for 10 penalties.
"It felt a lot better once we got into the third period after that second period slump and penalties," said Nikiski's Anthony Coveyou. "Everybody was just kind of out of it."
Nikiski's Lex Litzen steadied the ship with his power-play goal at 6:40 of the third period, and the Bulldogs once again regained their focus and momentum, rattling off two more goals to secure the win.
Kenny Lake's Kade Nelson and Nikiski's Zach Womack battle for the puck in the second period Friday at Jason Peterson Memorial Rink in Nikiski.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
"(Litzen's goal) settled us down," said Coveyou, who finished the game with two assists from his position as a defenseman.
"They got two quick goals, and that got us down," said Nikiski's Paul Kendall. "We had to find it within ourselves to get it back."
Mike O'Brien netted a hat trick for the Bulldogs while Louie Oliva had a pair of goals and an assist. Litzen also scored twice, and Zach Womack also added a goal. Brett Allemann had three assists.
Luke Hardesty was credited with eight saves for the Bulldogs.
"We're continuing to improve as a team, learning new things of how to work with each other," O'Brien said. "The chemistry is there, it's just coming out a lot more now that we've had more time (working with each other)."
BULLDOGS 8, HAWKS 5
Kenny Lake 1 1 3 -- 5
Nikiski 4 1 3 -- 8
First period -- 1. Nikiski, Litzen (Flensburg), 5:30; 2. Nikiski, Oliva (Allemann), 6:01; 3. Nikiski, O'Brien (Allemann, Coveyou), 12:07 pp; 4. Nikiski, O'Brien (unassisted), 12:22; 5. Kenny Lake, Nelson (Stumpf, Maxwell), 12:54. Penalties -- Kenny Lake 1 for 2:00.
Second period -- 6. Nikiski, O'Brien (Allemann), 1:09; 7. Kenny Lake, Kramer (Butler), 10:05 pp. Penalties -- Kenny Lake 5 for 10:00, Nikiski 5 for 10:00.
Third period -- 8. Kenny Lake, Cooley (Devens), 1:24; 9. Kenny Lake, Butler (unassisted), 4:34; 10. Nikiski, Litzen (Blatchford, Coveyou), 6:40 pp; 11. Nikiski, Womack (Oliva), 7:50; 12. Nikiski, Oliva (unassisted), 10:42; 13. Kenny Lake, Butler (Devens), 14:28. Penalties -- Kenny Lake 7 for 14:00; Nikiski 4 for 8:00.
Shots -- Kenny Lake 3-5-5--13; Nikiski 17-15-15--47.
Goalies -- Kenny Lake, Farrington (47 shots, 39 saves); Nikiski, Hardesty (13 shots, 8 saves).
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